Dre Island is undoubtedly one of the more intelligent and exciting young musicians, to emerge out of Kingston, Jamaica. Born Andre Johnson, on May 2, 1988, Dre Island exhibited a very strong interest towards music at a young age.
His enthusiasm pushed his grandmother into convincing his father to have Dre take music lessons. Dre had the privilege of choosing which instrument he wanted to learn. He chose the piano. As the lessons went by, he improved his skills and got to love the piano more and more. At age eleven Dre was introduced to a recording studio. He observed keenly, everything that went on, and it was from there that he developed the knack for building beats (Rhythms) and having different artistes sing on those beats. His stage performance abilities were nurtured by his church, where he was a member of the church choir. He then went on to showcase his talent at weddings, local concerts and functions.
He began his professional journey, working as a producer in some of Jamaica’s top recording studios. As a very focused and hard worker, he successfully completed projects with both local and international artistes such as Jah Cure, Sizzla, Pinchers, Julian Marley, and Junior Reid. He has also done collaborative work with producers Baby G and Jam 2.
With all the experience garnered from his behind the scenes projects as a producer, and an unwavering support from family and friends, Dre Island, in 2008, decided to make a transition into becoming a recording artiste. His ultimate aim was always to become an artiste. However, he realized the necessity in learning as much as he could about music, before embarking on such a path.
The skills Dre acquired from his earlier experiences, has definitely put him at a greater advantage than many of the other singers and d-jays on the local scene. He produces most of his tracks, and doesn’t believe in restricting his voice to any particular genre. Dre Island explores and lives in every genre of music in order to get his message out to everyone across the globe.
He, with his strikingly unforgettable voice and flow has performed at quite a number of prestigious local shows. He was called onstage in 2010 by dancehall artiste Ding Dong at the world renowned Reggae Sumfest, to perform their collaboration “If I could do it again”. He also made an appearance at the annual Shaggy and Friends charity concert in the same year. In 2013, he made his first Rebel Salute appearance and was well received. Other shows that he graced, are Arts in the Park, Bridging the Gap, Layers of Souls, Bob Marley Trench Town Rock, Tribute to Dennis Brown, Dre Island live in concert at gee jam studios, and Keesing Live .
Dre Island has quite a number of songs out, that are burning the airwaves, spreading his positive messages like ‘wildfire’’. A few of these tracks are: Whistle away, which was produced by Donovan Bennett, Bless My Heart oh Jah Jah, produced by Hunga, What’s Mine is mine, produced by Green Lion and Uptown downtown, on overstand production’s militancy riddim. Militancy Riddim also features artistes such as Kabaka Ryramid, Protoje and Jah Cure. He has a single with protoje and one with the ‘sweet’ singing Kelissa. Both singles are productions of zincfence records and are expected to be released in early 2014.
To date, Dre Island has one officially released mixtape entitled Rastafari Way, produced by King-I-Vier. A six track EP produced by Zincefence Records is expected to go out in stores, early 2014. The title of the EP is undecided.
Dre Island has no intentions of letting go of his love for music, or falling short on creativity.
He promises that he will continue to do ‘Jah Works’ to inspire the people of the world.